United Nations Mission in Haiti

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Map of Haiti| |
Introduction| |
Background| |
Before Independence| |
After Independence| |
The Establishment of UNMIH: September 1993 – June 1996| | First dispatch of UNMIH & the Events of 11 October 1993| | US-led Multi National Force (MNF)| |
UN Redeployment| |
Findings: Successes & Failures| |
Sanctions| |
Failure of Governor’s Island Agreement| |
Effects on the Haitian Population| |
Inadequacy & Oversights of the MNF & UNMIH| |
Restoring Aristide & a Lack of Political Control| |
Dismantling of the Haitian Armed Forces & the Ineffectiveness of UNMIH| | Critical Involvement of the US & Questionable Justifications for Intervention| | Haiti: Today| |
Haiti: Tomorrow| |
Bibliography| |


Haiti has experienced a tumultuous history defined by political instability, widespread poverty, and unanswerable questions of promoting domestic security and peace. This report will analyse just one of the many United Nations peacekeeping operations to have been implemented in Haiti, that being, the United Nations Mission in Haiti (UNMIH). As this mission and subsequent follow-on missions span more than a decade, this report focuses on the main aspects that contributed to both the successes and the failures of UNMIH. Firstly, this report provides relevant historical information to establish base knowledge of the situation in Haiti. Secondly, the establishment of UNMIH is detailed, analysing the Governor’s Island Agreement and the failed initial deployment of UNMIH. The critical US-led intervention by the UN-authorised Multi National Force (MNF) is then explored, followed by the redeployment of UNMIH. This report then examines the findings from the UNMIH peacekeeping operation, including the effects of sanctions and the inadequacy & oversights of the MNF & UNMIH. The report concludes with a consideration of Haiti’s condition today and a forecast of Haiti’s future prospects.

Before Independence
Although Haiti, or St. Domingue as it was then called, was originally conquered and colonised by Spain, in 1697 the western third of the island was ceded to France and over time, particularly during the 18th century, St. Domingue became the wealthiest colony in the French empire due to a slave-based sugar plantation system. Beginning in 1971 and continuing for a tumultuous 13 years, the slave population revolted and temporarily gained control of the island. In 1802 the French succeeded in regaining power of St. Domingue, however in 1804, permanent independence from France was won, and hence, the Haitians renamed the area Haiti.

After Independence
From 1791 to 1994, developments in Haiti led to the islands transformation from the wealthiest colony in the Caribbean into the poorest nation in the Western hemisphere. Twenty-two dictators ruled Haiti from 1843 to 1914 and during this period the country experienced severe disorder, both politically and economically. In 1915, the US intervened in Haiti. Although benefits such as the creation of infrastructure and the improvement of health were had by Haiti during the occupation, the losses, such as the introduction of “American-style racism” and the failure of Washington to impart any concept of democracy, negated the gains. From 1964 to 1971, Francois “Papa Doc” Duvalier was named president for life and ruled until his death, creating “domestic political tension, severe political repression, and economic stagnation”. In 1971, Jean-Claude Duvalier, “Baby Doc”, succeeded Papa Doc and kept many of his policies. The tension and disorder continued and in 1986, Baby Doc fled to France. After a series of governments intermingled with military coups, the first free elections in more than 30 years were held in Haiti in 1990 with the requested assistance of the United Nations (UN). The elections were deemed “highly...
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